You must do the things you think you cannot do.
Eleanor Roosevelt

Friday, August 19, 2011

Running clinics and my confidence level

Since getting the green light to run, I've done very little actual running. Coming back after an extended injury is as much -if not more- a mental challenge as it physical. Quite frankly I'm skeered to run because if I reinjure myself...I don't know...

[Bill told me he had a dream/nightmare that I hurt my foot again, and everyone's life was hell so he asked that I please not re-injure myself because he's not sure he can take another 8 months of non-running me. I didn't realize I had been such an ogre, but maybe I was in a chocolate and wine induced haze???]

Anyway, I run pretty high on the balls of my feet- thus the extremely tight calves and plantar problems, oh and that pesky stress fracture in my toe. I obviously need to change my footstrike to a more mid-foot strike before I lace up my kicks and hit the road again.
Monday night I attended a Chi Running clinic hosted by the running club I belong to. The instructor was our club Presidente Mark Lawrence, and it was a small group of about 6 runners. He spent almost 2 hours with us and since it was such a small group, he could give us each specific feedback. It was an excellent class and covered the basics of Chi Running - if you haven't read the book, I highly recommend it, and if you're local, take some time to hang out with Mark on Monday evenings.

Yesterday, after a completely insane afternoon of errands and dr appts, we made the trip to Shepherdstown so I could participate in a running clinic at Two Rivers Treads. The injury prevention clinic is typically led by Laura Bergmann but Mark Cucuzzilla was at helm instead.

My ortho's response to my questions is always 'you're an aging athlete.'
Ok, fine I'm old [I don't really think I'm "OLD" but whatever].

I can't undo aging, but I *can* change my form and properly strengthen my body to PREVENT injury, right??? What I love about Mark's clinics is learning that YES I can.  He [and Laura] explains things like how having feet that don't adequately dorsiflex pull on the plantar plate which in turn can cause calf pain and tightness and plantar problems.

I guess the average person is content with just getting better. I... athletes in general??... want to know HOW the injury occurred and WHAT can be done to avoid it again. Having access to knowledgeable people who are passionate about the sport and willing to answer those questions is a godsend.

Anyone who has attended a clinic led by either Laura or Mark could write pages about what they learned. The best thing to do is just attend one - if you aren't local, check out the running stores listed on the Natural Running Center website [right column].

After 4 hours of running instruction this week, I feel like I'm on the right track to smarter, stronger, healthier running. I won't be cranking out serious miles for a while and that's ok.

I have already considered this year a wash in terms of speed building or racing. It's about getting stronger and healthier and staying positive regardless of what comes.

I'm still a little nervous about reinjuring myself - but - I didn't get my big butt off the couch and across the finish line of a tough half marathon by thinking about it or reading about other people doing it. I'll be out there again....just a little more cautious and [hopefully] more in tune with my body.


The Green Girl said...

Aw, I'm sorry that you're so hesitant to get back in the swing of things but I so get it.

I absolutely swear by ChiRunning - I hope it helps you, too.

I have a hard time avoiding heel striking - like I think I'm not doing it but in my race photos I see the truth! Urgh.

Molly said...

I can understand your fear, I've been there. You're going to come back from this a stronger runner, for sure!


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